Spring 2012 & the DML is abloom and buzzing

posted on 13 Jan 2012 23:57 by BGC DML - Kimon
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photo by Flickr user blathlean used under Creative Commons license

It is almost MLK Day and that means a calendar year has just turned over and we are about to start our spring semester. 2011 was a really good year for the DML. Here are some highlights:

In the spring, Prof. David Jaffee's 19th c. New York class created a great online exhibition, which saw our students bravely delve into the unfamiliar world of web design, HTML, CSS, javascript, etc.

PhD candidate Yenna Chan's class Rus in Urbe saw a successful first foray into video essays. Inspired by these works, Prof. Jaffee implemented a similar assignment in his fall course Material Culture of 20th c. New York Class, and his students produced some really amazing work.

During the summer the BGC was host to an NEH Institute on the Material Culture of NYC. Participants took advantage of the DML and workshops on presentations, database software, and collaboration tools.

Fall 2011 saw the use of wikis as course sites at the BGC flourish to its fullest, as every class now has a course site with many professors experimenting with new assignments that take advantage of the interactive and collaborative features of the sites.

There was also an explosion in the use of Prezi at the BGC for not only presentations, but also as a space to compare and analyze sets of visual information, create visual syllabi for course materials, and even develop prototypes for potential digital media projects.

The upcoming spring promises to be just as busy, if not more so. AMNH fellow Erin Hasinoff's Material Itineraries focus gallery tutorial will be designing prototypes for interactive media displays while Prof. Jaffee's Interpretation of the Artifact in the Age of New Media course will inevitably be exploring and experimenting with a wide range of digital media on a number of platforms.

We will also be beginning a project to develop an archive for all of this student work, using Omeka to store and catalog digital copies as well as provide professors a platform from which to present this student work. The first round of material to enter the archive will be the videos from professor Jaffee's Material Culture of 20th c. New York class, as well audio files and transcripts from interviews of designers and craftspersons done by students from Prof. Catherine Whalen's Craft and Design in the USA course. The digital sustainability questions that this archive will raise will also help us determine how best to handle one of our most exciting projects this semester, our first digitally-born qualifying paper. Finding a way to store, catalog, and make available this new type of project should prove an interesting challenge as students start producing more digital-born work.

That's not even all that's going on digitally at the BGC. We are applying for bigger digital grants, experimenting more with digital materials and interfaces in our galleries, and improving the overall quality of technology across the institution. It's a great time to be doing digital things here and it only promises to get better.

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